'Don't': Biden warns Iran as he expects attack on Israel sooner than later

"We are devoted to defence of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed," says Biden

By
Reuters
US President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks during a signing ceremony for The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US August 16, 2022. — Reuters
US President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks during a signing ceremony for "The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022" in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, US August 16, 2022. — Reuters 
  • Biden reiterates Washington's commitment to defend Israel.
  • President says "Iran will not succeed" if it proceeds with attack. 
  • Israeli attack on April 1 killed eight including top commanders. 

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Friday warned Iran against attacking Israel amid fears that Tehran might proceed with the attack "sooner, rather than later" over an air strike that killed eight including top commanders.

According to Reuters, Biden, when asked by reporters about his message to Iran, simply said, "Don't," reiterating Washington's commitment to defend Israel.

"We are devoted to the defence of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed," he said.

Israel braced for an attack by Iran on Friday as warnings grew of retaliation after an attack on Iran's embassy compound last week in Damascus that killed a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' overseas Quds Force and six other officers.

Israel did not claim responsibility for the airstrike on April 1. But Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Israel "must be punished and shall be" for an operation he said was equivalent to an attack on Iranian soil.

Biden, who is Israel's main ally, said that he expected the Iranian attack to come "sooner, rather than later." He made these comments while talking to reporters at the White House after a virtual speech to a civil rights conference.

According to a report by Wall Street Journal, Washington rushed warships into position to protect Israel and American forces in the region following Tehran's threat.

This move came after a warning from a person familiar with the matter about the timing and location of the potential Iranian attack, the newspaper said.

However, a person briefed by the Iranian leadership said that while plans to attack are being discussed, no final decision has been made, the Journal said.

Countries including India, France, Poland and Russia have warned their citizens against travel to the region, already on edge over the war in Gaza, now in its seventh month. Germany on Friday called on its citizens to leave Iran.

Earlier, White House spokesperson John Kirby said the reportedly imminent attack by Iran on Israel was a real and viable threat, but gave no details about any possible timing.

Kirby said the United States was looking at its own force posture in the region in light of Tehran's threat and was watching the situation very closely.